Bar bistro scheme turned down

PLANS for a new bar bistro in Ponteland have been rejected by county councillors against officer advice.

Jonathon Stokes applied to convert the former Wine Rack store at Bell Villas, which closed in December 2009, and add a small extension to the side of the building.

There were 26 letters of objection, with Ponteland Town Council and Ponteland Civic Society also against the proposal, although there were seven letters of support.

Concerns included that the bar bistro would exacerbate parking problems, there were potential issues with the drop-off/reversing area close to the traffic lights, it would produce undesirable levels of noise and odours and it could have an adverse impact upon drainage.

Northumberland County Council planning officers recommended to grant conditional permission, but members of the West Area Planning Committee voted seven to two against the bar bistro application, with one abstention.

The reason given was unacceptable loss of retail space.